Mexican Restaurant Reviews Restaurants

Tacos, Carne Asada and Shrimp From Los Nopales

carne asada tacos los nopales chicago

I was contacted a couple weeks ago to try out a new restaurant discovery app called Flavour. Now normally I’m not the one deciding where we’re going to dinner anyways, but this time we decided to let the app choose for us. Im not really sure what a restaurant needs to have to be considered for the app, or if there’s even a reason this app is any different than the other ones out there, but it was pretty easy to use. We knew we wanted Mexican food, we knew we wanted it in Lincoln Square and that was all it needed to know. A list of Mexican restaurants in that area popped up, we looked at a few of the details, and settled on Los Nopales.

Los Nopales Mexican Restaurant

The restaurant itself seemed very small when we first walked up, there were maybe 12 tables in the front with the bar. It wasn’t until later in the night that we realized that there are a few more tables hidden away in the back. I honestly couldn’t tell you how many though, as we didn’t go back there, but my recommendation is to get a reservation. We were there at around 7:30 on a Saturday night and it was pretty full. It does seem a bit cramped in the front, mainly because the bar is right in the middle of it, but since we had the booth, it wasn’t so bad.

The restaurant is BYOB, so as soon as we sat down we popped open a bottle of wine. Honestly, we should have brought a bottle of tequila instead as they do sell pitchers of non-alcoholic margarita mix, so you could just add your own liquor. Or we could have just brought pre-mixed margarita mix, but we didn’t think of it. Instead, Nick and I shared a bottle of white wine, while my pregnant wife enjoyed her Grapefruit Jarritos.

chips salsa guacamole los nopales chicago
Chips and Salsa (Non-Normal Salsa) and Salsa Verde

After getting the drink situation settled, we decided to order up some guacamole to go with the homemade chips and salsa that was brought to the table when we sat down. Now, I don’t like guacamole so I don’t even bother trying it. It’s not like a “better” guacamole is going to make me change my mind about guacamole in the first place, so I just stay away from all guacamole… guacamole. Even the “normal” salsa was weird for me. Normal salsa as in “not the green salsa”. It wasn’t even red like it’s supposed to be, it was like an orangish color. I don’t mind salsa verde, but it’s not my favorite thing, so I decided to give the orange salsa a go; I didn’t care for it. It was a bit spicy for me and didn’t taste like normal salsa.

For our entrees we kept it pretty simple, nothing to exotic or exciting. I had the carne asada tacos (pictured above) which came topped with lettuce, cheese, tomatoes and sour cream (I opted out of the sour cream), along with beans and rice. The meat in the tacos was cooked perfectly and there was plenty of it. The meat itself didn’t have a ton of seasoning on it, but just the meat alone tasted better than chewing up and spitting out Chipotle steak. My only complaint with the tacos is that I love cheese, and there didn’t seem to be enough cheese on top of these tacos. Minor complaint, but still a complaint worth mentioning, but either way, the tacos were delicious. The rice was your typical Mexican yellow rice, which is always good, and the beans were just refried beans, which I don’t like either. I will say though that I did actually try them this time, cause I’m not sure if I’ve ever actually tried them or I’ve just been put off by the sight of them for this long. Oh well, tried em, still didn’t care for em.

Nick had the carne asada dinner (not in taco form) and seemed to enjoy it quite a bit. If it tasted anything like the tacos, then I’m sure the meat was pretty good. Celeste had the one of the shrimp dinner plates, but I’m not exactly sure which. Either way, all of them come with jumbo shrimp. She could not stop talking about how good the shrimp is, which doesn’t necessarily mean it was the best shrimp she’s ever had, but it had to have been good shrimp if I had to guess.

lava cake dessert los nopales chicago
Lava Cake Dessert – Could have been bigger…

To wrap it all up we had a vanilla flan and a chocolate lava cake with ice cream for dessert. The chocolate lava cake was pretty good, but I feel like I’ve had better at chain restaurants (definitely a bigger portion at chain restaurants). And the flan was actually pretty solid. I’m not sure I’ve ever had flan.

All in all Los Nopales was a solid choice made by Flavour. The atmosphere was nice, the food was delicious and it’s BYOB, what more could you have asked for… besides normal salsa.

About the author

Tom

I'm a married man in his 30's who doesn't really "like" food. If it weren't for my wife I would be living off of pizza and cheeseburgers for the rest of my life. Follow me as I venture slightly out of my comfort zone to try different foods and restaurants.

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